Constitution day should be celebrated because our path should constantly be evaluated: Prime Minister Modi

New Delhi: To commemorate the ‘Samvidhan Divas’ under the auspices of Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG), a function was organised in the Central Hall of Parliament House, today. Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind; Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu; Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi; Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, Shri Om Birla, and other dignitaries graced the occasion and addressed the distinguished gathering. Speaking on the occasion, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind said that Members are defenders of the dignity of Parliament. Elected representatives from the Gram Sabha, to the Parliament should have only one priority which is working for the welfare of all the people and the interest of the nation, asserted the President.

He further added that there may be differences of opinion, but no difference should be so great as to hinder the real purpose of public service and people’s welfare. Competition in Parliament should not be confused with rivalry. Speaking about the release of digital version of the debates, calligraphed version of the Constitution and updated version of the Constitution as well as launch of online quiz on constitutional democracy, the President said that in the Constituent Assembly debates we get glimpses of the greatness of human thought and consciousness channelled toward nation building.

Expressing satisfaction that people are enthusiastically participating in the series of programmes organized as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the President said that this speaks of the active participation of citizens that they carry within their hearts, deep respect for those known and unknown freedom fighters whose sacrifices made it possible for us to breathe the air of freedom.

The President urged the citizens to rededicate themselves to follow those great national ideals in their daily lives. Vice – President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu in his address, stated that the Constitution is a statement of values, ideas and ideals and underlined that all Indians are part of one community and that all citizens and stakeholders must work with a spirit of commitment and passion for the nation. Shri Naidu asserted that the spirit of the Constitution of India requires that legislatures across the nation especially the Parliament must be guided by ‘dialogue and debate’ and they must not be rendered dysfunctional through persistent disruptions.

He also expressed concern about the steady decline in the productivity of the Parliament over the years. Emphasising that in a democracy, the people’s will is conveyed as the mandate to the Governments of the day, Shri Naidu said that “Tolerance towards the mandate of the people should be the guiding spirit for the legislatures”. Stating that the Constitution of India has stood the test of time, Shri Naidu said that every effort should be made to protect the spirit and dignity of the sacred document. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to Babasaheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Dr. Rajendra Prasad and remembered their contributions in framing of the Constitution.

He also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and all the unsung heroes who made sacrifices during the freedom movement. The Prime Minister also remembered the indomitable courage and bravery of the martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the nation during the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11. Shri Modi further said that Constitution is not just a collection of many articles, our constitution is a great tradition of millennia. This is a modern expression of that unbroken stream. He further said, “Constitution Day should be celebrated because our path should constantly be evaluated whether it is right or not.”

Elaborating on the spirit behind celebrating the ‘Constitution Day’, the Prime Minister said that it was during the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, “we all felt that what could be a greater auspicious occasion than the gift that Babasaheb Ambedkar had given to this country, we should always remember his contribution in the form of a Smriti Granth”.

He said it would have been better if along with establishing the tradition of Republic Day on 26th January, ‘Constitution Day’ was also celebrated on 26th November at that time itself. Cautioning against the tendency of forgetting and glorifying convicted corrupt people, the Prime Minister said that while giving an opportunity to reform we should refrain from glorifying such people in public life. Remembering Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister said that Mahatma Gandhi had tried to prepare the nation for the duties, even while fighting for the rights in the freedom movement.

“It would have been better if the duty had been emphasized after the country’s independence. In the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is necessary for us to move forward on the path of duty so that our rights are protected”, Shri Modi said. Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla said that the Constitution as embodiment of cultural heritage, eternal values and ideals of the country, is the source of the rights of the people of the country, which also gives us a sense of our obligations. Describing the constitutional values of India, Shri Birla said that the spirit of our Constitution unite all of us together. He further said that the Constitution is the guiding spirit for fulfillment of the hopes and aspirations of the people.

It inspires citizens to work continuously and also makes them aware of their duties towards the nation. Emphasizing on citizens’ duties, Shri Birla stressed that Constitution Day is the occasion to rededicate ourselves on the path of duties in national interest. Shri Birla said that Parliament represents the will of 135 crore people of the country. Observing that it is the forum for dialogue and discussion and not disruption, Shri Birla said that the nectar that will come out of the discussion and dialogue will bring prosperity and positive change in the lives of the people, benefiting the last man standing in the row.

On the Amrit Mahotsav being celebrated on the occasion of 75 years of independence of the country, Shri Birla said that on this sacred day, the people of India should take a pledge to discharge their duties and responsibilities strengthening democratic institutions, to create a new India. President of India released the following resources during the function: i. Digital version of Constituent Assembly Debates ii. Digital version of Calligraphed copy of Constitution of India iii. Updated Constitution of India President of India also inaugurated ‘Online Quiz on Constitutional Democracy’.

The Nation read the Preamble along with the President. Apart from Members of Parliament, the Associate Members of IPG based in Delhi and the Head of Missions based in Delhi participated in the Function.